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The petitioners were released on bail after accusation of procuration of a minor girl under Section 366A IPC: High court of Patna

The petitioners were arrested under Section 366A of the Indian Penal Code, “Procuration of a minor girl, whoever, by any means whatso­ever, induces any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with the intent that such girl maybe, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”. This is in connection with Chhatapur (Rajeshwari OP) PS Case No. 44 of 2020 dated 23.02.2020.

This judgment was given in the high court of Judicature at Patna by honorable Mr. Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on the 2nd of August 2021 in the case of Pradeep Yadav and others versus the state of Bihar criminal miscellaneous No.37123 of 2020, Mr. Kamal Kishore Represented as the advocate for the petitioner and Mr. Md. Arif represented as the additional Public Prosecutor, and it also includes the case of Vipin Yadav versus the state of Bihar criminal miscellaneous No. 37785 of 2020  Mr. Kamal Kishore Represented as the advocate for the petitioner and Ms. Anita represented for the state of Bihar, Mr. Mohan represented the informant in both the cases the proceedings of the court were held via video conference

The following are the facts of the case, the petitioners and others were accused of forcibly abducting the minor granddaughter of the informant and without her parents’ consent getting her married to a co-accused named Rahul Yadav.

The counsel representing the petitioners held that the granddaughter of the informant came to live with her grandparents (informant) and fell in love with the co-accused and based on her willingness to elope with the co-accused and got married, the petitioners are only co-villagers and that’s how they know Rahul (co-accused) besides that they have no connection to this incident and they have been accused regardless. However, the minor girl has returned and made a statement before the court under section 164 Cr.P.C., she stated that even the petitioners were involved in the abduction which was self-contradictory, she held that the incident took place on 21.02.2020 and was raped by the co-accused and became pregnant two months prior to the day of the incident regarding the same there is no evidence to prove the above.

However, no physical abuse allegations against the petitioners, the petitioners have no criminal antecedent. In another statement made by the girl under section 161 Cr.P.C. the girl was seen with the co-accused bringing her on his motorcycle when the police caught them on the way which was on the national highway, therefore based on the circumstance it was clearly a love affair and it is unrealistic that five people would abduct a minor to marry the co-accused, however, the Rahul Yadav is held in custody and therefore the petitioners must not be held for no fault of theirs.

The APP submitted that the girl according to her statement accused even the petitioners of being party to the crime. However, it is not controverted about her statement under section 161 Cr.P.C. and also there were no signs of rape according to the medical report examination.

The counsel representing the informant submitted that this incident is common and the petitioners due to their dominant power in the village they abducted the girl with the bad intentions she could have also been sold. In both the statements made by the minor girl she has pointed to the petitioners for being party to the abduction and taking her to Nepal.

After considering the facts and circumstances of the case the court held that “The petitioners will be released on bail upon furnishing bail bonds of Rs. 25,000 each with two sureties of the like amount each to the learned ACJM, VI, PS Case No. 44 of 2020, subject to the conditions laid down in Section 438(2) Cr.P.C., 1973 (i) that the petitioners and the bailors shall execute the bond and give an undertaking with regard to the good behavior of the petitioners and (ii) that the petitioners shall co-operate with the Court and police/prosecution.”

The court concluded that “Any violation of the terms and conditions of the bonds or the undertaking or failure to co-operate shall lead to cancellation of their bail bonds. It shall also be open for the prosecution to bring any violation of the foregoing conditions of bail by the petitioners, to the notice of the Court concerned, which shall take immediate action on the same after giving the opportunity of hearing to the petitioners.”

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